General Managers to Meet Today

Today in Toronto, the General Managers of NHL franchises are get to have their fall meeting and they have several topics to discuss. Meetings like this tend to get the ball rolling for their next meeting in March, where rules tend get created or modified for the next season. For example, it was last November’s fall meeting where the issue of head shots was brought up and the end result was Rule 48 being in effect this season. Issues on the table include format change for this year’s All-Star game in Raleigh, changing the venue for the scouting combine and if the league should adapt a policy for players using social media. Coyotes GM Don Maloney is proposing adding guidelines for players using social media.

The NHL is the only professional sports league in North America that doesn’t have a policy for players who use forms of social media including Facebook and Twitter. It’s both good and bad that the NHL doesn’t have any concrete policies regarding social media. It means that players haven’t abused the system but it will only take one incident to make the casual hockey or sports fan think “How come it’s taken them so long to put something on the books.”

Another issue to be discussed is potentially changing the format for overtime. There was an increase in games decided via the shootout last season as 15 percent of games went to the shootout compared to 12.9 percent in 2008-09. What Red Wings GM Ken Holland is proposing is eight minutes of OT, with the first four minutes being played four-on-four while the last four minutes being played three-on-three before proceeding to the shootout.

Panthers GM Dale Tallon is perhaps proposing the most bizarre issue and that is giving the coaches a challenge for plays that result in goals. His team was on the wrong end of a blown call earlier this season when goalie Scott Clemmenson was ran over by Leafs player Colton Orr on a play that resulted in a goal and was not penalized for goaltender interference. Despite winning the game because of that call, Toronto coach Ron Wilson is not in favor of a coaches challenge because it will make the referees look bad and that you can’t run and make a new rule every time something controversial happens.

He also said “If you watch half the goals, the goalie’s been touched or pulled or something. … Am I going to throw that red flag on one goal a game because I can? I’ll probably win. I don’t know personally if that’s what we should be doing. It’s hard enough to score in our league right now.”

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